by John Stoehr
As a Charleston native or even as a tourist passing through, one learns quickly the importance of basket weaving in the Lowcountry. Highway 17 and Market Street are filled with men and women weaving the sweet grass into traditional baskets, a skill that has been passed down through generations. Yet there is a gap in this cultural education, and Henrietta Snype plans to change that.
Her new program Sweet Grass Baskets: The Next Generation works with young adults from the ages of 9-19 to teach the history and technique of this art form. She plans to give the students books and tools, to take them on field trips to where the grass grows, and give them hands-on experience, both by pulling the grass and by creating their own baskets.
The project began at the beginning of February and will run through September in preparation for an exhibit at the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston. Henrietta hopes to inculcate the importance of education and respect for the arts in a younger generations by motivating them learn about and create baskets themselves. For more information, call (843) 270-9434. —Anna Linesch